Archive | July 2012

Destination: Leavenworth, WA

Must-Do Activities

Aside from strolling down Front Street, browsing the shops and taking in the breathtaking mountain views, the Bavarian town of Leavenworth, rated #1 tourist town in the Northwest by Family Fun magazine, has a lot to offer its visitors.


  • Get out on the water!
    • Whitewater Rafting- Enjoy an action-packed day paddling through the thrilling rapids of the Wenatchee River with Blue Sky Outfitters. With full-day and half-day trips available, it’s an easy addition to your family vacation and the whitewater and wine tours are perfect for a weekend getaway with the girls!
    • Float the River- If you’re looking for something a little more low-key and relaxing, take a self-guided inner-tube float on the upper portion of the river. Tube Leavenworth with your family, friends and even bring your dog along.

  • Play some golf!
    • Desert Canyon- Treat yourself to 18 holes on the #1 golf course in Washington, Desert Canyon. Under an hour away from Leavenworth, play against the beautiful backdrop of rolling hills and water views and experience the best golf in the state.
    • Icicle Junction- For those less-experienced golfers, hit the ball around at the Icicle Junction miniature golf course right in downtown Leavenworth. Sticking with the Bavarian theme, this family-fun activities center also offers an arcade, movie theater, and sports court.

  • Sample some great food!
    • The Cheesemonger’s Shop– Any kind of cheese you can think of, this Leavenworth shop has. Hard, soft, sharp, mild, they have it all.  And what better complement to cheese than wine? They also sell wine and, of course, German beers. The perfect combination. Step in for a sample and you’re sure to make a purchase!
    • Munchen Haus– If you’re looking for an authentic taste of Germany, eat at Munchen Haus—complete with outdoor dining and serving local Icicle Brewing Company’s beer. Their outdoor courtyard has a fun, family atmosphere and is even pet-friendly.
    • The Alps Candy– For a quick snack or sugar fix on your way in or out of town, stop by The Alps candy store. The first floor is filled with candies including taffy, Swedish fish, and fudge while the rest of the store holds a variety of sauces: ketchup, mustard, barbeque and FLAVORFUL hot sauces. It’s a bit out of town along Highway 2 but regular customers say it’s worth the trip.


The town of Leavenworth is the perfect destination for families, couples, and friends alike and is jam-packed with fun activities to take part in. Next time you’re looking for a weekend getaway, no matter the season, Leavenworth should be at the top of your list!

River Spotlight: The White Salmon River

The White Salmon is truly a special river, tucked away in the Columbia Gorge, closely surrounded by trees and wildlife. Glacial waters of Mt. Adams combine with water of numerous springs providing a sufficient flow for whitewater boating year-round, bringing joy to rafters and kayakers alike, 365 days a year. The principal tributaries of the White Salmon include Trout Lake and Buck, Mill, Dry, Gilmer, and Rattlesnake Creeks.

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Floating Down the White Salmon

Condit Dam:
99 years ago, Condit Dam was completed on the south-end of Northwestern Lake on the White Salmon. Its main purpose was to provide electrical power for local industry. Although the project was successful, it created negative outcomes – detrimental to salmon spawning blocking salmon and steelhead runs and damaging the river’s ecosystem. In 2011, utility company PacifiCorp elected to remove that dam rather than install costly fish passage structures.

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Condit Dam before 2011 demolition

Currently, steelhead are swimming upstream, marking the first upstream fish migration since the dam was built there nearly a century ago. Biologists are now waiting to see if Chinook will return to the area to spawn in September. Workers are continuing to remove the concrete structure of the dam by the end of August.

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White Salmon River in 1912

Here at Blue Sky Outfitters, we raft what is known as the Middle White Salmon and Lower White Salmon – the section of the river from BZ Corner off of Alt Hwy 141 to Northwestern Lake (or where it used to be before the removal of Condit Dam). The Middle White Salmon, from BZ Corner to Husum, is a very exciting and challenging section of the river that both intermediate and beginning rafters enjoy. The Lower White Salmon, from Husum to Northwestern “Lake”, is a great run of the White Salmon for beginners with its calmer waters. This run from BZ Corner to Northwestern Lake is one of the best heavily forested gorges in the Pacific Northwest. The White Salmon is great for experienced rafters and adventurous beginners alike. Here at Blue Sky, we are excited to be rafting this beautiful and historic river.

<p><a href=”http://vimeo.com/31305629″>Explosive Breach of Condit Dam</a> from <a href=”http://vimeo.com/andymaser”>Andy Maser</a> on <a href=”http://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a>.</p>

4th of July in Eastern Washington

If you’re headed over the mountains in Washington state this Fourth of July, you’re sure to enjoy some sun and good times! Eastern Washington has a number of different family-oriented Independence Day events scheduled for the Fourth.

Grand Coulee Dam: Enjoy the “Festival of America” at Grand Coulee Dam! After a full day at the art, craft & food fair, and some live entertainment, pack up some lawn chairs and snacks for the kids and head up the hill for the best views of this spectacular show. The laser light show will begin at 10pm and the amazing fireworks display will start soon after. This is old fashioned family fun that you don’t want to miss out on!

Leavenworth: If you have young ones, Leavenworth’s “Kinderfest” would be a great event to attend during the day. In Front Street Park, kids will enjoy free games, face painting, arts & crafts, snacks, and music. Be sure not to miss the Kiddie Bike Parade at 11am!

Wenatchee: In the Wenatchee area, watch the $20,000 fireworks display over the river. The launch point for the fireworks has moved to higher ground this year due to the high water levels (great for rafting!!) but the show will go on, accompanied by some live music!

Methow Valley:  If you want an authentic, small-town 4th of July experiene, join the community of Twisp for their annual  parade at 11am followed by the Methow Arts Fest. This year’s arts festival is themed “The Legend of the Superhero”. There are booths and activities that will excite visitors of all ages and live performances to entertain the crowds. You don’t want to miss this if you’re in the area!

Blue Sky Outfitters offers exciting rafting adventures on the 4th of July!

Call our office and book your 4th of July trip by 5pm on July 3rd and receive $10 off per person on the Wenatchee and Methow Rivers! 

Blue Sky Outfitters has provided exciting, all-inclusive fun-filled rafting adventures in Washington State for over 30 years. Give us a call today at (800) 228-7238 or email us at rafting@blueskyoutfitters.com for more information.